At a special assembly in March, Ann O’Brien (Collignon - Head Girl 1972) was announced as the recipient of the 2015 Catherine McAuley Alumnae Award.
Ann grew up in North Parramatta, attending St Monica’s Primary School and OLMC Parramatta. She completed her HSC at the College in 1972 and was Head Girl.After leaving OLMC, Ann went to the University of Sydney where she obtained a Bachelor of Social Studies in 1976, majoring in the area of Social Work. In 2008, she obtained a Graduate Certificate in Catholic Identity and Leadership at Australian Catholic University.
Ann’s first job was at the Royal Children’s Hospital at Camperdown which gave her a good grounding in paediatric health and the vital importance of a loving and stable family for children. Her next job was at Parramatta Psychiatric Centre providing care and assistance to patients suffering from mental illness and distress. Ann then began working for Centacare as a generalist social worker and counsellor and also for the Department of Community Services in Adoption and Permanent Care.
Currently, Ann is the Director of Marriage Support and Specialist Services Catholic Care Diocese of Parramatta.
Ann’s choice to do a Social Work degree when she left school was motivated by a conscious decision to devote herself to supporting those who needed help and guidance, in the ups and downs of life. Her early experiences of practical work in different areas of social work only strengthened her belief in the importance of relationships in living a happy and fulfilled life. She then made a decision to concentrate her efforts in the field of marriage and family life. The appreciation shown by clients and her co-workers to this day gives testimony to the value of her work.
Ann embodies many of our Mercy qualities. In particular, she has shown great compassion and caring throughout her life towards others in need of support and guidance. Ann is still an active member of the St Bernadette’s Castle Hill Parish Community.
Ann has practiced her Catholic faith and has been a disciple of Jesus, demonstrating the values of Mercy and Compassion to others in need. She has served those who are marginalised in our society, those who are vulnerable and in need of support. Ann has followed in the footsteps of Catherine McAuley - living out our Mercy Values through her service to others.
OLMC Parramatta’s HSC class of 2015 has achieved impressive results, joining a long line of graduating classes throughout the College’s history who have exemplified academic excellence.
• Top 100 school
• Top ATAR 99.45
• 5th in the State in Hospitality
• 24 % of ATARs above 90
• 3 students on All Rounders List
Mercy Girl Rebecca Ibrahim achieved an impressive fifth place in the State in Hospitality in the 2015 HSC while Chelsea Briot, Rebecca Ibrahim and Justine Maroun all made it onto the All Rounders List after achieving a top band in at least 10 units. Sixty Five OLMC students were also named on the Distinguished Achievers List, achieving a Band 6 or E4 in at least one course. A total of 133 Band 6s or E4s were achieved by Mercy Girls in 2015.
Principal Stephen Walsh says all Year 12 OLMC students should be proud of their efforts in this their final year of schooling; “We are proud of the conscientiousness with which our Mercy Girls have applied themselves to their studies, their commitment to excellence and the way they have lived out their chosen Year Motto – to strive in 2015! We hope that today has brought a sense of joy and fulfilment.”
Justine Maroun was delighted to achieve the College’s top ATAR for 2015 of 99.45. Justine has her sights set on becoming a radiographer and is hoping to study a Bachelor of Applied Science at Sydney University. “I want to work in an area that constantly challenges me – I love learning and being challenged and I think that’s why I loved Extension 2 Mathematics!” Justine is thankful for the support of her teachers; ”I would send them screenshots and questions all the time and they would always be so responsive.” Her advice to those undertaking the HSC is to have a clear goal in mind as this will determine your mindset and approach. “I was surprised by how thoroughly I knew my content; if you work hard and do lots of past papers you will be prepared, and, as a result you will be confident.”
After achieving an ATAR of 98.35, Karuna Narang is looking forward to studying at UNSW and developing a career that constantly challenges her: “I don’t want to be a cog in the wheel – I want to strive to do something meaningful and I definitely see myself doing postgraduate study. Karuna said OLMC offered her such a good support network: “My schooling experience had such a sense of community spirit and a holistic approach to education and to life.”
Aspiring dentist Chelsea Briot achieved an ATAR of 97.8 and attributes this to consistency, endurance and her inspirational teachers: “I think the key is to study consistently throughout the year, but to also ensure you take time out for fun. We are lucky at OLMC because the teachers always go out of their way to help and this was invaluable for me.”
It was all glitz, glam and, most importantly, giving at the OLMC Race Day Fundraiser at Rosehill Gardens on Saturday October 31, 2015.
Almost 400 people from the OLMC community, including students, ex student, parents and staff came along to what was a fantastic day. Thanks to the generosity of sponsors and all patrons, an impressive $30 000 was raised for important humanitarian projects in Cambodia!
Thanks again to all who supported the day and especially our hard working organisers who made it all possible!
On Monday September 7, 2015 the 2016 Student Leadership Team were inducted at a special assembly. A special morning tea was held afterward with staff, student and parents where the girls received a special leadership candle.
The Student Leadership Team for 2016 includes:HEAD GIRL - Yasmine Biady
ASSISTANT HEAD GIRL - Gabriella Wehbe
SRC PRESIDENT - Rebecca Castor
SRC VICE PRESIDENT - Ilaria Trecapelli
CREATIVE & PERFORMING ARTS
DEBATING & PUBLIC SPEAKING
Clare - Nicola Wahbe
McAuley - Madison Brown
Mercedes - Madison Noud
Stanley - Eloise Breese-Massey
On Friday May 22, 2015, Future Mercy Girls put their skills to the test and discovering their potential at Learning @ OLMC Day.
The Year 6 girls enjoyed a very busy day, making new friends and having fun as they joined in a number of challenges throughout the day.
These included the Maths Brainiac Challenge, the Cupcake Challenge, the Forensic Challenge and the Drama Queen Challenge.
The weather did not put the slightest dampener on spirits: the buzz of excitement in anticipation of beginning their Mercy journey next year was unmissable!
Year 7 2015 had a great time meeting future classmates and teachers at Orientation Day which was held on Wednesday November 12.
The girls and their parents learnt all about what life at OLMC will be like from Homeroom and pastoral processes to uniform expectations (with a special uniform parade!).
Future Mercy Girls met their Pastoral Teachers, Peer Support Leaders and make a bunch of new friends who they are looking forward to seeing again in January next year when they start their Mercy journey together.We are very excited to have each and every one of you joining us in 2015
At the College assembly on Tuesday November 11, 2014, Year 12 Mercy Girl Chloe Farrington was announced as the winner of the 2014 Rosemary Crumlin Art Award for her artwork 'Mercy Superheroes'.
Sister Rosemary Crumlin RSM OAM, after whom the award is named, presented the winners at the assembly. Rosemary is a member of the Parramatta Congregation of the Sisters of Mercy. Her religious vocation has led her to a succession of remarkable achievements as school teacher, artist, author, educator, women’s’ leadership consultant and curator of major exhibitions of religious and spiritual art.
Second Place went to Sarah Thabthiang (Year 9), Claudia Connelly (Year 8) received third place, fourth place went to Alysha Newton (Year 12) and fifth place was awarded to Amy Xu (Year 12).The Award aims to encourage students to create art works (in any media) which reflect Mercy Values, to be exhibited in the public areas of the College.
On Sunday August 24, Mercy Girl Alex Hulley competed in the Women's Hammer Throw final at the Youth Olympics in China and won a Silver Medal!
In the heats, Alex threw a personal best and qualified in first position for the Hammer Throw final - ahead of 15 other competitors.
A huge congratulations to Alex on this fantastic achievement!
In an outstanding performance, Year 12 student Anita Donovan has achieved what is one of the pinnacles of public speaking by winning the 2014 State final of the Senior division of Rostrum Voice of Youth.
The event was held on the first day of the winter holidays at the Legislative Assembly chambers of NSW Parliament House.
Anita displayed remarkable poise and talent to defeat the other finalists, each of whom had proven their ability by reaching this level of a competition that is recognised nationally as the most challenging of all public speaking competitions for students.
For the sixth year in a row OLMC hosted the KidsView Conference on Wednesday May 21, 2014. The social justice conference aims to help students explore the complex reality of poverty and encourage them to action.
The conference is organised by Bahay Tuluyan (House of Welcome), a Filipino non-government organisation that works with children who have been abused, exploited and neglected.
Conference facilitator Catherine Scerri, an Australian volunteer who has worked in the Philippines with street children for over nine years, says the conference is a chance to engage young people to become motivated to learn more about the world and challenge them to build a socially just world.
At the conference, Mercy Girls explored complex issues of work, education, health and food for people living in poverty by participating in, with students from other schools, a variety of workshops led by passionate young people.
The OLMC Community has banded together to raise over $2000 for the Typhoon Haiyan Appeal. Donations came in from generous students, parents and staff who contributed in a number of ways including to a sausage sizzle.
This money will be sent to the Australian Red Cross Tyhoon Haiyan Appeal to help:• provide emergency relief, rehabilitation and recovery assistance to communities affected by Typhoon Haiyan (including the Philippines and Vietnam)
• support water and sanitation, shelter and health initiatives in affected areas
• send specialist aid workers to assist in initial assessments, relief, recovery and longer term disaster management operations
• support Red Cross longer term programs and the work of our Red Cross Red Crescent partners in the affected areas.
Students, families and staff also gave generously to the annual St Vincent de Paul Hampers initiative, enabling the College to create 58 Christmas hampers to be given to families in need. It is through the generosity and dedication of students, parents and staff that this annual event remains so successful and it is a great way of reaching out to people in the local community who are facing difficulties at Christmas.
On behalf of the Sisters of Mercy and the College Board we are very pleased to announce the appointment of Mr Stephen Walsh as the new Principal of OLMC Parramatta. We are confident that Stephen will bring to the role a deep faith, a strong understanding of and passion for the education of girls and a commitment to the mission of the Sisters of Mercy.
With a career in Catholic education of nearly 30 years, Stephen is an experienced educator with leadership experience spanning 15 years, including significant time in girls schools. In 2006 he was appointed to his current role as Principal of St Joseph’s Catholic College Gosford, a girls’ school in the Diocese of Broken Bay.
Stephen holds the qualifications of Master of Education (Curriculum) and Bachelor of Education. He currently is on the Board of Directors for Stella Maris College, Manly and is the President of the Association of Affiliated Josephite Secondary Schools in Australia/New Zealand.
This Principal’s position at OLMC, attracted an unusually high number of very well qualified applicants. The selection committee, that included a member of the Congregation of the Sisters of Mercy, the Chair and Deputy Chair of the Board and an experienced principal from another independent girls’ school, assisted by an external consultant, conducted an extensive recruitment process and concluded that Stephen Walsh was clearly the best person for the role. We were looking for the person who demonstrated the commitment, passion and capabilities to continue to build OLMC as an outstanding high performing girls’ school in the Mercy tradition.
Stephen Walsh will be the ninth Principal of OLMC and will bring an ideal combination of professional leadership abilities and a strong background in curriculum and contemporary pedagogy. He will commence at OLMC on 21 October and will work with the current Principal, Mrs Kitty Guerin until her retirement at the end of December. Stephen will formally take up the role as Principal in 2014.
We take this opportunity to congratulate Stephen on his appointment to such a significant role and invite you to welcome him into the OLMC community.
Catherine Ryan rsm
Congregation Leader, Sisters of Mercy Parramatta
Chair of the Board, OLMC Parramatta